When I was a little World News Center correspondent, around 4 years old, my grandmother ran a kennel. She used to breed Great Danes and German Sheppard’s, but later downsized to Yorkies and Poms. That had a lot to do with the fact that she was getting older and was stuck raising me. I was not an easy child to raise. Of course regular readers probably could have guessed that. But one thing I did learn is that dog whistles drove dogs pyscho, I also learned that their use was an odd form of canine torture. Dog would wail and moan and cover their eyes and basically act like the final reel of Cujo when they heard one. This may come as a surprise to some of you but large dogs hell bent on killing you is not a pleasant experience. Think of it as a similar experience to running into a crack house and announcing “I’m unarmed and I’m here to arrest you.” A whole world of bad awaits you. After that awaits pain.
So it is with a jaundiced eye that I spy today’s story. By that I mean I think the people behind it are completely f***ing insane. ABC News reports that Nestle has created an ad designed exclusively for dogs.
Nestle Purina created an interactive commercial now airing in Germany and Austria featuring different high-pitched squeaks and tones meant to appeal to the furriest of family members.
After consulting with experts in pet behavior based in St. Joseph, Mo., the folks at Nestle Purina learned that dogs’ hearing is twice as sharp as humans’.
“They can pick up frequencies which are beyond our range and they are better at differentiating sounds,” said Dr. Georg Sanders, a nutrition expert and consumer consultant at Nestlé Purina PetCare in Germany.
The commercial, made specifically for Beneful, first uses a squeak similar to the sound a dog’s toy makes, something that both the pup and its owner will be able to hear. The commercial also has the sound of a high-frequency tone – much like a dog whistle — that dogs respond to but humans can hardly recognize.
The marketing ploy follows another of the company’s campaigns, also launched in Germany, where dogs were able to sniff out the smell of Beneful dog food while on a walk with their owners on special posters. It seems the company hopes that by catching the pet’s attention they can also influence the people who make the shopping decisions in the household.
But Nestle Purina says that the commercial is only meant to highlight the special relationship between owners and pets.
“We wanted to create a TV commercial that our four-legged friends can enjoy and listen to, but also allow the owner and dog to experience it together,” said Anna Rabanus, Brand Manager of Beneful for Nestlé Purina PetCare Germany.
Here’s what the owners will experience.
“FLUFFY! QUIT BARKING AND BITING ME!”
Mostly the biting part.
So, thanks to Nestle, billions of canines will be going stark raving mad without any recourse. I’m sure this will all turn out well. In much the same way I figured that the internet was a fad.
Listen to Bill McCormick on WBIG AM 1280, every Thursday morning around 9:10!